Mexican black bean pitas

Makes 8 sandwiches – 4 servings

In my home, we have differing opinions on the flavor of cilantro. I omit it for my son but add a healthy dose of minced fresh cilantro to my portion of the filling. We agree that it’s necessary to have a spicy pepperoncini on the side. Use your favorite bottled salsa for this recipe – hot, medium, or mild to suit your preference; and buy premade guacamole or make it from scratch using a ripe avocado. Garnish the plates with sliced oranges; and for an accompaniment, cut leftover jicama into strips, toss them in fresh lime juice, and dip the ends into chili powder.

For the sandwich filling

1 large tomato (at room temperature), cut into ½-inch cubes

1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped

1 cup jicama in 1-inch-long by ¼-inch-thick strips

¼ cup coarsely chopped red onion

One 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

½ cup bottled salsa

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

Dash of freshly ground pepper, or to taste

Dash of salt, or to taste

For the bread

Four 7-inch onion-flavored or plain pita bread rounds, each cut to form 2 half-rounds

½ cup guacamole

To complete the recipe

Shredded cheddar cheese and/or sour cream for garnishing

To make the filling, toss together the tomato, bell pepper, jicama, onion, and beans in a medium bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and toss again. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

To assemble each sandwich, split open a pita half and spread the inside with a heaping tablespoon of guacamole. Use a slotted spoon to strain the filling as you spoon about ½ cup of it into the pita . Top with your choice of garnish.

Advance preparation

This filling will keep for up to 3 days in a covered container in the refrigerator. Assemble the sandwiches just before serving.